An increasing number of patients are seeing Physician Assistants or Advanced Nurse Practitioners in hospital outpatient departments, according to a National Center for Health Statistics data brief.
Key findings from the brief:
- Hospital outpatient department visits attended only by physician assistants (PAs) or advance practice nurses (APNs) increased by 50% between the years 2001 - 2009
- PAs and APNs saw a higher percentage of visits for new problems, rather than follow-ups or chronic care.
- The percentage of appointments with a PA or ANP was higher in small, non-teaching hospitals.
- The percentage of appointments with a PA or ANP was also higher in rural settings.